Governor Edwards and State Legislators Learn Firsthand of Coast Land Loss with Flyover Tour of Coastal Louisiana
In late October, Governor John Bel Edwards and a legislative delegation got a bird’s eye view of Louisiana’s coast through the window of a seaplane in a flyover trip arranged and facilitated by CRCL, Restore the Mississippi River Delta and Greater New Orleans, Inc.
State Representatives Stephanie Hilferty (R-Metairie / New Orleans), Tanner Magee (R-Houma) and Jerome Zeringue (R-Houma) joined Governor Edwards, several members of his staff, and Johnny Bradberry, Executive Assistant for Coastal Activities and CPRA Chairman, for a thorough trip that the Governor later called “the two most sobering hours I’ve ever experienced.”
After a briefing opened by CRCL Executive Director Kim Reyher and presentations from David Muth and Steve Cochran of Restore the Mississippi River Delta, the Governor’s party departed Belle Chasse in three planes. Their trip took them over the surge barrier, and then back down the Mississippi River to the bird’s foot, before heading west over numerous barrier islands and eventually touching down at Port Fourchon. Along the way, the Governor and legislators saw more than 30 restoration project sites and flew over Shell Island – the massive land-building project that in effect is the newest Louisiana land.
“There is no better way for us to explain the ecological challenges facing coastal Louisiana to our decision-makers, than to show them from the air,” Reyher said. “The daunting scope of our challenge becomes immediately apparent. But so are the successes.”